Blog Post

More Knowledge Cafe conversations

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 22 August 2010



More Knowledge Cafe conversations
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 122
Posted DateSunday 22 August 2010 11:35 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://stepsandleaps.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/knowledge-cafe ... 
CategoriesKnowledge Cafe
PeopleDavid Pottinger , David Gurteen

I was talking with my friend David Pottinger the other day over a beer or two. David has attended a number of my London Knowledge Cafes, including the last one at Arup. He was particular interested in the conversations that took place before and after at the Arup event and had blogged about them.

As we talked we came to realise that there were up to eight quite distinct phases of the Cafe were different types of conversation took place. This was something I had not seen before. Here are eight potential conversations:
  1. Conversation with a friend at a pre-Cafe meeting and on way to Cafe on the tube
  2. Conversation during the pre-Cafe networking session
  3. Speed networking conversation at the start of the Cafe
  4. Conversation in small groups as part of the Cafe
  5. Conversation in whole group as part of the Cafe
  6. Conversation during the networking session after the end of Cafe as people are leaving
  7. Conversation at a local pub after the Cafe
  8. Conversation on the tube or train on the way home
Not everyone gets to experience all eight of these conversations but many do. I for one, often meet up with someone before the Cafe and travel with them to the venue. There is conversation down the pub and I frequently travel home to Fleet with David as we live in the same town and of course the conversation continues.

That's a lot of conversations and each one is quite different. David's particular interest was the post-Cafe conversations as he felt this was the most interesting and productive phase. People are at their most relaxed and unfocused and thus the conversations often took an unexpected direction. People were also more likely to be themselves and not act out their job role.

Quite a fascinating insight. Its got both me and David thinking about how the nature of all of these conversations might be improved.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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